My father has received court ordered treatment and he has sought treatment voluntarily. Income based programs are limited in number, extremely understaffed, and under-funded. Although relapse is a natural and predictable part of recovery, this is usually grounds for expulsion. And limiting programs to 30 to 90-days is simply inadequate for effective rehabilitation. Even when he’s doing okay, the threat of relapse hangs over him like a dark cloud.
This Mothers Day holds special significance because Moms United to End the War on Drugs will launch a national movement led by mothers, many of whom have firsthand experiences with addiction or drug prohibition violence. As I remember my mother and grandmother and their insistence on unconditional love and forgiveness, I pray that Moms United will lead the way to policies reflecting a public health approach to addiction, so that people like my father can be viewed by our society as worthy of compassion and redemption.
Keevonya Wilkerson is Administrative Assistant for Mothers Against Teen Violence and lives in Dallas, Texas